Mocorito, Sinaloa: A Magical Town Yet to be Discovered

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The Magical Town of Mocorito is located northwest of Sinaloa, less than two hours from Culiacán and Los Mochis.

It boasts spectacular landscapes with great cultural, gastronomic, and historical richness.

Among Mocorito’s attractions, you will find beautiful squares, experiences that remain in the heart of the town, and gastronomic delights as endearing as the chilorio.

Also, appreciating its murals and beautiful buildings is a great must-see.

Where is Mocorito, Sinaloa?

Again, Mocorito is the head of the Sinaloa municipality of the same name, in the north-central region.

It is surrounded by the other Sinaloan municipalities of Sinaloa, Navolato, Culiacán, Badiraguato, Salvador Alvarado, and Angostura.

Because of its cultural richness, Mocorito is dubbed the Athens of Sinaloa.

The word “Mocorito” comes from “macorihui,” the voice of the Cahíta people that identify the Mayan Indians, and the particle “to,” which denotes location, so the pre-Hispanic name of the town would be something like “place where the Mayans live.”

In 1531, the conquistador Nuño de Guzmán founded the first Hispanic settlement in the territory, which received the name of San Miguel de Navito.

The following year, the encomendero Sebastián de Évora took possession of the valley of Mocorito, giving his name to the river. The Jesuits arrived in the 1590s, founding the Mocorito Mission in 1594.

Weather

Mocorito sits about 80 meters above sea level and offers a warm climate, cool winters, and hot summers.

The average temperature is 25 °C, although it can rise to 30 °C in July, the hottest month, and drop to 17 °C in January, the coolest season.

10 things to see in Mocorito, Sinaloa

1. The Historic Center

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The historic center of Mocorito is a space of friendly cobblestone streets, flanked by colonial houses that seem to watch the passing of the centuries undaunted.

The main public place in Mocorito is the Miguel Hidalgo Main Square, dotted with slender palm trees and shrubs, landscaped areas, and a beautiful kiosk.

In front of the Plaza Hidalgo or very close to it are the most emblematic buildings of Mocorito.

Every week, the “Viernes de Plaza” is celebrated in the main square, with musical groups in the kiosk, gastronomic and handicraft fairs, and other cultural events.

2. Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception

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The construction of this architectural jewel in front of the Plaza Miguel Hidalgo started at the end of the XVI century by indigenous Sinaloans under the direction of the evangelizing Jesuit friars and concluded in the XVII century.

Its architectural style is the so-called military monastic, characterized by the sobriety and strength of the religious buildings, which could be used as a refuge against hostile forces.

The original temple is made of quarry and the brick tower was added in the 19th century.

Inside the temple, 14 engravings from the XVI century represent scenes of the Stations of the Cross.

3. Los Tres Grandes de Mocorito Civic Plaza

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This historic place in Mocorito is an esplanade in the historic center presided over by bronze statues of the three most illustrious sons of the town: Doña Agustina Ramírez, Licenciado Eustaquio Buelna and General Rafael Buelna Tenorio.

Ana Agustina de Jesús Ramírez Heredia was a brave “Mocoritense” who had 13 sons, 12 of whom died fighting the French imperialists, with only the youngest surviving the war.

The historian and prominent liberal, Eustaquio Buelna, another native of Mocorito honored in the plaza, called Doña Agustina “the greatest heroine of Mexico” General Rafael Buelna Tenorio distinguished himself during the Mexican Revolution.

4. Municipal Palace of Mocorito, Sinaloa

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mocorito sinaloa
Stunning Mural inside the Palace

This two-story building with balconies and balustrades on the upper level, is on a corner of the historic center, one block from the Plazuela Central Miguel Hidalgo.

It is a construction that dates from the beginning of the 20th century and was originally the residence of a wealthy Mocoritense family.

Inside there is a mural by painter Ernesto Ríos, alluding to Rafael Buelna Tenorio, the youngest general of the Mexican Revolution, nicknamed “El Granito de Oro” (The Golden Granite).

5.  Cultural Center

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The Cultural Center is housed in an attractive, brightly painted, one-story mansion on a corner of the Historic Center.

The building from the 19th century has wide portals guarded on the streets by beautiful old street lamps.

Inside there is an enormous mural, the largest of its kind in Sinaloa, a work of the painter Alonso Enriquez, which represents the history of Mocorito in its 4 centuries of existence.

The Cultural Center has a small theater where artistic presentations, plays, conferences, and other events related to the world of culture are held.

6. The House of Stagecoaches

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Stagecoaches are part of the history and legends of Mexico; those picturesque horse-drawn carriages were the main means of passenger transportation until the railroad and the automobile industry arrived.

Well into the 20th century, many towns were still served by stagecoaches and the Casa de las Diligencias in Mocorito is a living testimony of these romantic and dangerous times.

The Casa de las Diligencias is a one-story, late 19th century, brick-built mansion with a main entrance and 10 windows with semicircular arches, which was the station for the arrival and departure of people, mail and cargo to the north and south of Mocorito.

7. Benito Juarez School

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The iconic Benito Juarez Elementary School

It is a large building in the historic center built during the 19th century.

The one-story building has semicircular arches in the windows facing the streets and the interior patio.

Above the main entrance, there is a tower with a London clock that is perfectly preserved and chimes every hour.

General Rafael Buelna Tenorio and other notable Mocoritenses studied at the Benito Juárez School.

Another attractive building in the historic center is the Lázaro Cárdenas High School, part of the Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, housed in an old restored mansion.

8. Alameda Park by the Mocorito River

This beautiful promenade on the banks of the Mocorito River has playgrounds, joggers, sports areas, and a plaza with a huge sculpture dedicated to local families.

The sculpture stands on a tall pedestal in the middle of a large landscaped rotunda and is modernist style.

Among the favorite attractions for children are the zip lines and horseback riding.

The park is used by locals for family gatherings, BBQs, and walking along its winding paths.

During the patron saint festivities, Alameda Park is filled with people who come to watch the ulama games (see below).

9. Regional History Museum

This museum contains archeological exhibits, photographs, portraits, and historical pieces that trace the history of Mocorito since pre-Columbian times.

The main archeological exhibits are mammoth bones, stone tools and utensils, and pottery.

The collection of portraits includes the main personalities of the town, presided over by the Big Three, as well as the great musicians, poets, religious, and pioneers linked to the town’s history.

Also on display, are newspapers from the beginning of the 20th century, the old movie projector from the golden age of Mexican cinema, theodolites, and telegraph objects.

10. Reforma Cemetery

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The colonial cemetery of Mocorito was for 300 years next to the church, in the area currently occupied by the Plaza Hidalgo.

In the 1860’s, as a result of the Reformation, the remains of the deceased began to be taken to the new cemetery, which was named after the liberal movement in 1906, as part of the centennial celebrations of the birth of Benito Juarez.

You may want to read: Exploring El Fuerte, Sinaloa, ‘El Zorro’s’ Charming Hometown

In the Reforma Cemetery are 85 tombs erected between 1860 and 1930, considered of artistic interest for their architectural designs and ornamentation.

This cemetery is part of the Route of Historical Cemeteries of Sinaloa.

What is the Ulama Game in Mocorito, Sinaloa?

Ulama is a ball game originally from Sinaloa, which comes from the pre-Hispanic ball game practiced by the Mesoamerican Indians.

It is the oldest game with a rubber ball that is still practiced.

Ulama is similar to volleyball, although there is no net and the hips are used to hit the ball.

Mocorito is one of the municipalities in Sinaloa where the tradition of ulama is best preserved and every weekend there are exciting matches, with the players dressed in Indian uniforms.

Mocorito’s handicrafts and cuisine

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chilorio
Chilorio is the local specialty…Yummy!

The artisans of Mocorito are extremely skilled at carving wood, which they turn into flour kneading troughs, spoons, wooden stirrups, and other pieces.

They also work very well with clay, making pots, jars, flowerpots, and other objects.

The chilorio sinaloense is the local gastronomic symbol, declared Municipal Heritage of Mocorito in 2013.

Chilorio is nothing more than pork meat marinated with ancho chile and other ingredients and shredded to eat.

Mocoritenses are also good eaters of machaca and chorizo. In El Valle, a community near the main town, there are several sugar cane mills where piloncillo, the base of Mocorito’s sweets, is made.

Fiesta in Mocorito, Sinaloa

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Typical “Banda” Sinaloan Music

The patron saint festivities in honor of the Purísima Concepción have their peak day on December 8 and of course, there is Sinaloan band music from beginning to end.

The festivities are attended by people from all over the Rio Evora region and many Mocoritenses who live outside their hometown.

The festivities in the community of San Benito have the special attraction of horse racing and betting.

Another festivity that has become popular in Mocorito is the carnival, which includes floral games, parades of floats, and folk dances.

During Holy Week there is a live Stations of the Cross, which begins at the Pilgrims’ Portal with a representation of the trial of Jesus.

Lodging in Mocorito

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Charming grounds at the Punto Madero Hotel & Plaza

Mocorito offers a few excellent hotels with great service and the warmth of the locals that will make you feel at home.

Punto Madero Hotel & Plaza offers the best accommodations in Mocorito. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a playground.

This charming hotel has city views, a terrace, a 24-hour front desk, and free WiFi throughout the property.

Mision de Mocorito is another excellent lodging choice. It is a typical two-story mansion, with a hospitable central courtyard surrounded by semicircular arcades supported by beautiful columns.

Mocorito, Sinaloa: Final thoughts

In conclusion, Mocorito, Sinaloa stands as a hidden gem waiting to be unearthed by adventurous travelers seeking authentic Mexican experiences.

With its rich history, charming colonial architecture, and breathtaking natural beauty, Mocorito offers a unique glimpse into the heart and soul of Mexico.

Whether you’re wandering through its cobblestone streets, savoring its traditional chilorio, or immersing yourself in its vibrant culture, a visit to Mocorito promises to be an unforgettable journey.

So, step off the beaten path and discover the magic of Mocorito!

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